Clinton County’s “solarize” program takes step toward greener energy

Local News

A program in Clinton County, New York, is aiming to promote renewable energy and save residents some money on their electric bill.

The county’s “solarize” campaign directs income eligible NYSEG customers to sign up for a green energy credit on their bill that worth up to $15 per month.

Renee McFarlin, Clinton County economic development director, said it’s part of Clinton County’s effort to obtain a Clean Energy Communities designation from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, (NYSERDA).

Clinton County’s “solarize” program is paid for by Delaware River Solar, the company that owns the panels.

“We have an existing solar farm that’s 2 megawatts up in Mooers and there’s room on the farm for approximately 400 low to moderate income residents to sign up and obtain this credit through NYSEG on their bill,” said McFarlin.

Other steps Clinton County has taken include adding electric vehicle charging stations at the Plattsburgh International Airport and providing information about energy usage to the state, called “benchmarking.”

“This I look at as kind of a taste of what hopefully we will be moving towards as a community,” said McFarlin.

On Wednesday, the Clinton County legislature approved a resolution to support the solarize program and the pursuit of other opportunities to obtain the designation.

“[If the county receives the designation] We will be eligible to apply for grants to make green energy improvements in our county facilities. So everyone will do better, the taxpayer will do better based on our efficiency,” said McFarlin.

Earlier this year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his green energy plan. It calls for the state to use 100% carbon-free power by 2040 and bans offshore drilling on New York coastlines.

“We are not only the first and most aggressive state now on most environmental measures, we always have been and we take that leadership very seriously,” said Cuomo.

To learn more about how to sign up for the solarize program, call 518-565-4600.

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